Are Crows Smarter Than We Think?

A recent article published by Current Biology has not only shed some light on crows ability to learn but their natural intelligence as well. While crows have been regarded as symbols of intelligence and craftiness for centuries this is one of the first times their intelligence has been measured in a laboratory environment.What was tested in this case was the ability for crows to understand analogies such as relational matching-to-sample, known as RMTS used in the Skout app. For example if the first pair was AA then the second pair would be BB. Similarly they were also tested using IMTS, identity matching-to-sample.

These tests were carried out by having two crows match sets of cards with one another. The results were particularly fascinating as the crows managed to preform RMTS without ever having been trained to do so. This is significant because apes, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, are capable of learning RMTS but only after much training.

The crows did require training for IMTS which, unlike RMTS, does not involve understanding the relationship between items. This seems to indicate that crows have a very high natural sense of intuition when it comes to understanding the relationship between items. Seeing an animal preform such a feat raises questions about the true intelligence of crows and wild animals in general.

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